Baseball91's Weblog

May 6, 2008

Minnesota Mortar

Connecting the stories of the week.  Thoms Lynch said that really poetry was connecting items that seemed in no way connected. 



Bob had had a coming out party.  At the age of 44.  Saturday night.  The party was an announcement to friends that had always meant the most to him.  The party represented his desire to say something intimate about himself.  His past, his future.  It was interesting to note who was and who was not present, and who might not be there for him from now on. 



He had addressed intimacy, when there always was a fear of it for everyone, of saying what is deepest inside.  I was not crazy to hear in this case what it was that was deepest inside.  The fear was about not knowing how to handle it.  “It” being loss or change. 



On Sunday of this weekend the story was about the potential bankruptcy of the Minneapolis StarTribune.  It was a decade where the future of all newspapers, an enterprise of communications, was being threatened.  Not many Americans had wakened to what it meant to be in the throes of this loss. 



I had a dream last night that my mother was going in for a CT scan to address issues of dizziness.  At least to my knowledge this was a physical problem restricted to my dream.  But it too did call the question of the meaning of love and of being loved.  The dream also called the question of identity, my family identity, expression of who were and are.  In my dream, I wanted to work at communications, communicating the importance one life had been to mine.    And like most guys, I was not very good at expressing it. 


Intimacy:  Sex. Communication.  In a world where there was so much threatening human existence, in illness that needed to be diagnosed, most people had something wrong with them.  And it was in facing challenges to good health, physical, econonomic, in relationships, each of us was challenged to how express things of significance.   



I had seen a rat in the garage on Saturday.  I had not seen many rats in my life.  Never before had I seen one in my neighborhood.  The rat still existed as some kind of terror.  And these were the days of the ongoing, never ending War on Terror which did show the ultimate threat to life was death.  Whether it was a worry from the dream of what was wrong physically, fears of what were spiritually wrong, whatever the answer, it was the threat of, a fear of the unknown. 



When so many people have no spiritual identity, then there is a threat to spiritual existence, to ideals.  A good number of people amongst us had no idea who they were.  The threat was to the meaning and purpose of any individual.  The trouble was living in relationships, in community, with people different than I was.  And institutions were a mortar that held us all together. 



With death, an individual comes to grips with a side of intimacy and the desire to pass on what is, what was most important about life.  Intimacy afterall determines identity.  



With sickness, it was a time to wake up to reflect on what I could pass on.  What was most important here, in the area of ideals?  For the friend now gay, the newspaper, the rat, a mother near the date of Mother’s Day?  Was Darwin right?  Was ultimately life, the sex life, about the survival of the fittest? 


I had started to think of all this last night on a walk.  I had wondered this spring what was the shape of the foundation of who I was, who I am, who we were, we are.  I had noticed the bricks around the base of a wall near a Summit Avenue mansion, close to the governor’s mansion, when I wondered about the mortar of American identity this year, that certain mortar that had always held people together.  On Summit Aveneue, the mortar was coming apart but only at the base.  It dawned on me that the legislature was due to adjourn this week. 



Actually when I got home there was a live debate still on public television at 10:30 pm when PBS programming should have been on. 



Newspapers, government, there had always been a certain mortar—keeping people together.  We took the connectiveness all for granted.  Now we need this real life poetry more than ever.  











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